Not Enough Snow @ Kirkwood, CA = Freeride World Tour Moved to Snowbird, UT

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cirque kirkwood ski resort
Kirkwood’s Cirque doesn’t currently have enough snow for the Freeride World Tour

In case you haven’t heard:  California is having one of its worst snow years on record.  It’s so bad that the Freeride World Tour had to ditch Kirkwood and its legendary Cirque for Snowbird, Utah.  Snowbird’s terrain isn’t nearly as challenging as the Cirque, but FWT organizers don’t have many options.

This is likely where the Snowbird comp will be held: upper baldy

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA (Feb. 14, 2014) – The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) announced the location of the fourth 2014 season stop has been moved to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Utah, USA. 

“Snowbird is honored to host the world’s best big mountain skiers and snowboarders, including several athletes who call Snowbird home,” said Dave Fields, Vice President of Resort Operations. “We have some of the best snow conditions in North America right now, and incredible terrain for this event.”

Event organizers determined snow conditions at the originally scheduled location, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, are not yet suitable for competition, causing the change. First and foremost, FWT is committed to providing a safe and quality environment for the tour’s athletes.

Snowbird’s first possible day of competition is scheduled for March 1, 2014 with an open weather window through March 5, 2014. Fans around the world will be able to watch the action live The event webcast is scheduled to begin at 9:30AM MST (5:30PM CET) the day of competition.

The entire team here at Kirkwood is very disappointed in not being able to hold the FWT this year.  After the tremendous success of last year’s event, we were set to blow-it-out-of-the-park this year; until Mother Nature decided otherwise,” explained Casey Blann General Manager at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. “That being said, we are hopeful the FWT will return to Kirkwood next year so we can continue to bring the most extreme skiers and riders onto our unbelievable terrain on The Cirque.

Snowbird is a veteran host of big mountain competitions, and is the home resort of several FWT athletes, including skier Oakley White-Allen, and four of the eight female snowboarders on the tour: Shannan Yates, Laura Dewey, Laura Hadar and Kaitlin Elliott. Located in Utah’s Wasatch mountain range, Snowbird is famous for its diverse terrain and copious amounts of The Greatest Snow on Earth®. The robust FWT program at Snowbird will include an opening ceremony on the Plaza Deck Feb. 28 at 4PM, a jumbotron streaming the event live, festival village, men’s and women’s ski and snowboard competition, and closing party.

“FWT has encountered challenging weather and snow conditions all season. We are very grateful Snowbird has agreed to host the event with such short notice. Snowbird is famous for having a unique abundance and quality of snow, making it an excellent location for the event,” said FWT Americas General Manager Adam Comey. Utah is also home to some of the most enthusiastic freeride fans in the United States. We are excited to bring the world’s premier freeride competition to the mountains they call home.


–      Thursday, Feb. 27: Athlete Check-in

–      Friday, Feb. 28: Athlete Venue Inspection

–      Friday, Feb. 28, 4PM: Opening Ceremony with athlete poster signing

–      Saturday, March 1, 9:30 AM: Competition and webcast start (Day 1 of weather window)

Following Snowbird, the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® will continue its competition schedule in Revelstoke, Canada March 10 where the final athlete cut will be made for the Xtreme Verbier championship competition in Switzerland on March 22. The remainder of the schedule includes both men’s and women’s ski and snowboard competition.

For more information on the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® and the event schedule, please visit

Each event of the FWT will be broadcasted live on

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4 thoughts on “Not Enough Snow @ Kirkwood, CA = Freeride World Tour Moved to Snowbird, UT

  1. @ MDskier, just because they are both named’cirque’ doesn’t mean they are at all comparable. The difficult terrain in the snowbird cirque is the top 150 vertical feet (maximum), compared with the photo of the KWood cirque above. the snowbird cirque is probably 400 vertical feet total as well…

  2. Most of my skiing this year was on road trips(2) to Snowbird/Alta.

    Snowbird’s cirque is just as good or better than Kirkwood’s cirque.
    Plus it’s usually open to all unlike at Kirkwood.

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